All Willie Nelson pot-smoking jokes aside, Sunday afternoon's Stuart House benefit at the
That tops the $830,000 raised in the same window at last year's event. Since the final 2013 tally grew by $120,000 by the time the online auction period ended 11 days later, we're guessing this year's post-event on-line bids and donations will push the funds raised over the $1 million mark.
The funds, which will benefit Stuart House, a program of the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, couldn't come at a better time, according to the program's founder and director, Gail Abarbanel.
"This is a landmark year," Abarbanel told a celebrity-heavy crowd that included co-hosts
Abarbanel was followed to the stage by Adams and her fiancé, fellow actor and co-host Le Gallo. Adams, who has been involved with the organization since hosting a fundraiser brunch five years ago, profusely thanked the crowd for showing up -- and opening up their wallets.
"Thank you all for coming," she said, "It's easy to turn away [from a topic like this]. Thank you for not turning away."
With that, a spirited live auction -- conducted by comedian Bill Bellamy -- got under way, starting with an electric guitar signed by the members of the
"Now I've got some tube socks for my next concert," he quipped.
After that, a blur of items followed, including a VIP pass to the second weekend of the
After the live auction, country music legend (and OG of celebrity pot consumption) Willie Nelson took to the stage for a mini-concert of sorts, accompanied by sons Lukas and Micah and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, turning out a generous set that started with "Whiskey River" and included crowd favorites "On the Road Again," "Crazy" and our personal favorite, "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die."
In addition to the A-listers mentioned above, celebrity supporters on hand included Rachel Zoe (fresh off her Festival of Books appearance the day before) in the
Silent auction items from the 11th annual John Varvatos Stuart House benefit will be up for bid at charitybuzz.com/johnvarvatos through April 23.
[For The Record, 10:58 a.m. PDT April 23: An earlier version of this post identified the Stuart House benefit's beneficiary program at the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center as the Rape Treatment Crisis Center. It is the Rape Treatment Center.]